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BS921 Electrical Rubber Safety Matting RIP?

14 Sep 2012 | Posted by Andrew Onions

I was a bit shocked (pardon the pun) to find out that the Electical Rubber Safety Matting standard for BS921 was being considered for withdrawal. I have spent many miserable hours discussing what actually constitutes an acceptable quality; appropriate thickness; correct branding; and more importantly correct inline testing methods with a whole host of our industry luminaries. Many of whom I can talk about with impunity since they are retired.

What surprised me even more was the fact that no one from the Rubber Industry sits on the Oversight Committee and anyone who did know appears not to have wanted to share the information, and whilst I am not going to dwell on this too much, though of course I will, it seems a desperate state of affairs when we are not fighting our corner as an Industry and working to support each other. Agenda point for the next GCA meeting I suspect.

That's my rant over. The bright side of it is that of course its not RIP for BS921 . As a product it is part of the fabric of ours and other industries and many of our customers have significant investments in supplying this product to end users, equipment manufacturers, Marine and Utility businesss. How many tens of thousands of square metres of product are in use today, and how many thousands of people are relying on it for their safety at this minute? Having tried for many years to persuade people to use IEC 61111 product I was invariably met with a firm look and the statement that they, the user wanted something substantial under their feet and not some flimsy bit of toy-town matting, and who are we to argue? Times and opinions are changing and Health & Safety demands move on with higher insulation standard required than BS921 can offer, and ever tighter limits on the weights individuals can move without expensive equipment, but for the vast majority of applications it still offers something that a 3mm or 4.5mm product cant. It offers peace of mind. BS921 is dead, long live BS921